Monthly Archives: January 2008

U2 Manager McGuinness Makes Total Ass of Himself

I guess it’s somewhat comforting to know that Bono isn’t the only figure from U2 who has decided to devote his life to being a caricature of a twit. While I have some sympathy with the fact that there is a legitimate case that part of the digital music scene involves theft, every time some fool like Paul McGuinness shoots off his mouth and completely glosses over the real and very difficult issues surrounding digital rights and other technological “paradigm shifts” the issue is buried in yet another layer of total shite. For some reason hearing U2’s manager demand that U2 is somehow being “hurt” by iPods and ISPs makes me want to gag.

Apparently the problem could be solved if we all just dropped our iPods and bought Zunes. I think the most galling of his ill-conceived rant is that he equates all of the various components of the digital music spectrum from ISPs, users, MP3 player manufacturers and Silicon Valley hippies as equally evil. I have all the time in the world to talk to small off-label artists who actually feel the pain in their wallets, but for the most part they are amongst the savviest and are benefiting the most from this shift in power and consumption trends.

Anyway, here’s a link to a CBC article. Here’s a link to Steve Jobs’ somewhat more considered view on the topic for good measure.

Reefer Vending Machines

According to the BBC, California is starting a programme to sell medical pot using vending machines! Not something I thought I’d ever see. I still find cigarette vending machines strange.

The rules are a bit draconian, you need fingerprints, photos and there is a security guard, but still it’s an interesting story for a Monday morning.

Office 2008 Bug and MacBU

Was reading my technology news today and I saw this post on The Unofficial Apple Weblog. In short there’s a bug with the installer for Office 2008 that results in the wrong UNIX permissions being set on some of the libraries and support files installed with the suite. In and of itself this isn’t a big deal but, as the blog points out, Microsoft tends to get crucified even for little things that are honest mistakes. In my opinion Microsoft does some really stupid stuff, but not everything they do is bad. If you deal with enough technology vendors you soon discover that Microsoft is nowhere near the worst vendor in any respect. In fact I can think of several vendors which are regularly lauded in the Free/Open Source Community which are far shadier and routinely spew forth far crappier software. In fact, just the other day I was saying that I never thought I’d think Exchange was a good mail solution until I saw some of its competition.

The Comedy Network Online

In case you don’t know about it, you can watch a number of The Comedy Network’s top programmes online by visiting: I don’t watch TV much these days but it’s nice to know I can find stuff like The A Daily Show and The Colbert Report without having to subscribe to cable.

I especially recommend January 22nd’s Daily Show sketch on Iceland pulling out of the Iraq War.

New Bond Film Title Announced

Not sure how keen I am on the name, but I’m always a little excited when they announce a new James Bond film. For some reason it’s one of the few film things that instantly makes me feel like a 16 year old boy. I like the new Daniel Craig interpretation of James Bond quite a bit and I’m interested to see what his second take will be like. The new film is titled Quantum of Solace.

Radio Timeshifting on

Just thought I’d post a note about timeshifting for CBC Radio 1. I wanted to listen to tonight’s episode of Dispatches but for reasons beyond my control I wasn’t near a radio at 7:29 EST. The good news is that Dispatches is a carried nationally, so all you have to do is dig up a western audio stream (such as Calgary) at the appropriate time and bingo, you have radio timeshifting! Nothing very complicated, but for those of you who listen to the radio a lot or, like me, miss a lot of radio programmes this is pretty nifty. Of course in many cases you can just download an MP3 or Real Audio version of the show these days and the penetration of these formats are growing.

The only downside to the streaming option is that you have to use Windows Media, but I’ve heard some rumblings that this may be changing in the not too distant future…